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Technology in Sports

Technology has made its way into nearly every aspect of a person’s life – even for athletes. Wearable technology like Fitbit is the new trend in tracking and enhancing nearly every aspect of health and fitness. 

While wearable technology helps athletes push their limits, technological breakthroughs in medicine have gone even further. This revolutionary technology helps athletes enjoy enhanced muscle mass, faster healing, and better treatment of injuries.

Recording and Tracking Sports Performance

Various trackers that measure heart and breathing rates, hydration and oxygen levels, core temperature, and caloric intake have brought fitness to the cutting edge of science. In fact, the NFL has developed sensors in players’ shoulder pads that record data on the force and impact of tackles made and received.

Other sensors can test for signs of injury by deciphering whether a player favors one side of their body. This information gives trainers a real-life glimpse into a player’s overall condition.

Trainers can also gather a complete picture of a player’s diet, workouts, fitness level, and injuries. The trainers can then utilize this data to customize workout regimens and injury rehabilitation programs for the player.

Genomics and Types of Recommended Activities 

A genetic sample of an athlete’s DNA can be tested for markers regarding nutritional requirements and predisposition to certain types of injuries. Certain companies are now relying on DNA to help determine whether a player should alter their workout, whether they are more prone to a certain type of injury, and to anticipate nutritional demands.

Customized workouts and nutritional plans based upon an athlete’s own genetics is now possible thanks to modern technology in sports.

Technology to Prevent Injuries

Almost 10,000 elite athletes playing for over 500 teams in 35 sports in 35 countries are now wearing technology that records over 100 metrics, thereby giving a trainer or coach an overall picture of the player’s health at a glimpse. This includes warnings when a player is overexerted and needs to rest.

It is now commonplace for professional athletes to wear some type of technology to measure performance and prevent injury. The implemented data has been a lifesaver for some teams that were once the most-injured in their leagues but have become among the least-injured in their leagues.

If Your Child Plays Sports

Many of these devices are too costly for a parent to buy for their children. However, some teams have recently begun embracing the use of technology to prevent injuries and better provide metrics for its athletes. 

With more and more youths getting involved in sports, the number of injuries will increase due to the sheer numbers of kids participating. However, it’s best to understand your child’s training regimen and see what types of technology that are being implemented.

Orthopedists in Colorado Springs

If you or your child has been injured and you want the absolute best chance of a complete recovery, see our sports physicians at the Colorado Center of Orthopaedic Excellence.

Call us today at (719) 623-1050, or request an appointment using our online form. We look forward to helping you get back in the game.

Tendonitis Symptoms You Shouldn’t Ignore

If you know someone who participates in sports or leads an active life, odds are you also know someone who suffers from tendonitis. Tendonitis is a relatively common condition that can be quite painful and affect performance, as well as everyday activities that require movement.  Let’s find out exactly what tendonitis is, what symptoms to look for, and which of those symptoms you absolutely shouldn’t ignore.

What Is Tendonitis?

To understand what tendonitis is, it helps to understand anatomy. Tendons are strong, fibrous bands of connective tissue that join our muscles to our bones. When these tendons become inflamed or swollen, it’s called tendonitis. Tendonitis most often is caused by repetitive or over-use of the tendons. Tendonitis is common in athletes because they tend to overuse their tendons doing repetitive motions for their sports activities. When too much stress is placed on the tendons in areas such as the wrist, knee, or ankle, tendonitis can develop. Common forms of tendonitis include tennis elbow, golfer’s elbow, jumper’s knee, swimmer’s shoulder, or pitcher’s shoulder.

Common Symptoms of Tendonitis

Symptoms of tendonitis tend to vary depending on the person and which part of the body is affected. Most of the symptoms tend to occur at the location where the tendon attaches to the bone. Although each person is different, some common signs of tendonitis include:

  • A dull pain or tenderness near the joint that tends to worsen with activity.
  • Swelling and inflammation in and around the area near the tendon/bone.
  • Joint stiffness, especially in the morning.
  • A grating feeling when the joint moves.
  • Warm, tender or inflamed skin that covers the tendon.
  • Additional discomfort and pain at night, especially after a day filled with strenuous activity.

Symptoms that Warrant a Call to the Orthopedist

In most cases, tendonitis responds rather well to medication, rest, and physical therapy. However, if your symptoms worsen or if you notice additional symptoms developing, don’t hesitate to call your doctor. Symptoms that you should not ignore include:

  • Redness or swelling around the joint that does not go away.
  • Fever and/or chills, usually indicating infection.
  • A sudden increase in pain or tenderness.
  • A sudden inability to move your joint.
  • No relief after a few days of resting, taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatories and/or icing the joint.

What to Expect at Your First Doctor’s Visit

Upon your first visit, your orthopedist may order x-rays or other imaging tests such as an MRI to rule out other conditions that may be causing your symptoms. Your doctor may also draw your blood and take a sample of any fluid that may have accumulated in your joint. Studying your blood and the fluid from your joint can clue your doctor in as to whether there is any sign of infection or damage, such as bursitis.

Once your doctor has ruled out any serious conditions such as infection, he can focus on caring for the tendonitis with a combination of treatments such as medication, injections, and physical/occupational therapy. If conservative treatments still do not relieve your tendonitis, your doctor may suggest surgical option.

There is no need to suffer from tendonitis. The doctors at Colorado Center of Orthopaedic Excellence are board-certified professionals who specialize in diagnosing and treating tendonitis and other orthopedic concerns. The doctors and staff pride themselves in providing the best care possible, delivered with compassion and respect. We would be honored and privileged to be involved in your care. Call (719) 623-1050 or use our online form to request an appointment online today.

The Most Common Sports Injuries by Season

There’s a sport for every season – and an injury for every sport.

Every year, an estimated 2 million sports injuries result in approximately 500,000 doctor visits and 30,000 hospitalizations.  And that’s not even counting professional athletes, adult weekend warriors and other sports enthusiasts prone to injuries!

As long as sports involve vigorous physical activity and contact, common injuries will occur. Let’s take a look at some of those injuries for some of the most common sports by season.

Most Common Injuries for Fall and Winter Sports

Football is one of America’s most popular sports, both as a spectator and a participant. Perhaps the ultimate contact sport, it can take quite a toll on a player’s body. Much has been debated recently about head injuries and concussions. However, traumatic knee and ankle injuries are extremely common on the gridiron.

Ice hockey can be just as brutal on the upper body. Whether slamming against headboards, falling on the ice, or getting into fistfights with opposing players – and despite the use of protective padding – hockey players frequently sustain shoulder, wrist, dental and head injuries. Shoulder injuries often include broken clavicles and acromioclavicular (AC) joint separation, while wrist injuries usually include sprains and fractures.

Most Common Injuries for Spring and Summer Sports

Although baseball and softball are not considered contact sports, they do involve a lot of running, throwing, catching, and pivoting, all of which can result in knee, leg, arms, and shoulder joint problems. For example, a baseball pitcher who specializes in fast balls can suffer a rotator cuff injury, tearing shoulder tendon tissue. Other players may suffer hamstring muscle injuries, sprained ankles or shin splints run around the bases or on the field. And who can deny that sliding into home – or another player for that matter – doesn’t classify as contact?

Many of the same leg injuries occur during soccer games, affecting adolescent players as well as adult athletes. You can add Jones fractures (of the bone on the outside side of the foot beneath the little toe) and anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears, which is the ligament in the center of the knee, to the list. Plus, heading the ball over time puts an athlete at risk of developing chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative brain disease found in those who have a history of repetitive brain trauma.

With swimming, injuries tend to result from the overuse of one’s joints and muscles. Shoulder injuries are common, as is breaststroker’s knee, which can become painfully inflamed. 

All-season Sports

Year-round indoor/outdoor sports like basketball and volley tend to create frequent cases of meniscus tears. This is a common “court” injury in which forceful twisting results in the tearing of certain knee tissue. Jumping to slam dunk a basket, block a shot, snatch a rebound can lead to patellar tendonitis (jumper’s knee), in which the tendon attaching the kneecap to the shinbone can be torn.

Meanwhile, a heated game of tennis can result in any number of injuries including ankle sprains, rotator cuff tears, stress fractures, and – yes – tennis elbow, the inflammation of the tendons joining the forearm muscles to outside of the elbow.

Whatever the season, there is the risk of injury while participating in your favorite sport. If or when it happens, it’s important that you get the proper and prompt medical attention of a specialist trained in sports medicine.

The orthopedic surgeons at Colorado Center for Orthopaedic Excellence diagnose and treat all kinds of joint conditions including sports injuries. We look to non-invasive methods first before resorting to surgery. For expert and compassionate care in the Colorado Springs area, call (719) 623-1050 for an appointment today.

Sports Medicine: Benefits of Working Out in the Winter

Ward off those winter blues. During the winter months, colder weather brings on the winter blues. It’s not uncommon for those snowy or overcast skies to bring about some sort of stress, lack of energy, and gloom. Due to this, people have a tendency to lose motivation and start to become inactive, wanting to instead just lay inside and watch movies all day. However, doing so comes with its downfalls, such as sickness, fatigue, allergies, and seasonal depression, called SAD (seasonal affective disorder).

This tendency to be inactive during the cold winter months is a paramount problem, as days are shorter during the winter. Well, they seem shorter to the mind and body, anyways. This is due to limited sunlight (shorter daytime, longer night), leaving people little motivation to get up and do something active.

Those of us who have trouble becoming active, blame this lack of energy on the early darkness of winter, which leaves us feeling hopeless and disempowered to make a positive change. The unfortunate irony in all this, is that we find it most difficult to exercise during the winter when we actually need it most.  

So, are you tempted to hide under your covers, eat junk food, and hibernate when cold weather hits? It certainly seems like an amazing idea or a good excuse, but exercising in the cold actually has some cool advantages!

Moderate exercise gets the body to release hormones called endorphins, and endorphins make us happy. Exercise is extremely beneficial to our overall health, both mentally and physically. It provides a boost to our mood and health, helps manage stress, helps with cognitive thinking and memory, protects our immune system, and gives us energy. In other words, the benefits of exercise are limitless.

Besides the typical winter sports you might think of, such as downhill skiing or ice skating, there are plenty of healthy activities to draw you out into the winter wonderland. Going for a hike is healthy in any weather, so long as you have the proper attire and gear. Besides downhill skiing, there are activities such as cross-country skiing, and even snowshoe hiking, that are excellent activity options. 

Along with exercise, good nutrition and diet is crucial to also maintain your weight and good health. Just because it’s cold outside, doesn’t mean you need to bulk up on the carbs and fats. Stick with a balanced diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, protein, and whole grains. And a big tip – stay hydrated during outdoor winter activities. Since it’s not as hot, people tend to think they are not perspiring, and therefore do not need as much water. You always need to stay hydrated. To motivate yourself, visualize your goal and the finish line, your body will thank you for it in the long run.

To learn more about the benefits of exercise during the wintertime, call Colorado Center of Orthopaedic Excellence in Colorado Springs at (719) 623-1050 or request an appointment online.

How Choosing an Orthopedic Urgent Care can Save You Time

Orthopedic injuries can happen at any time, but there is a good chance of having an accident that results in a broken bone, sprain, or strain over the weekend. Weekend warriors out there playing sports or participating in other outdoor activities run the risk of getting hurt. If you get injured over the weekend or even in the evening, choosing an orthopedic urgent care could save you valuable time in getting the treatment you need. 

When you go to an orthopedic urgent care center, you will be seen by either an orthopedic surgeon or a physician assistant (PA), who has had extensive training in diagnosing and treating orthopedic injuries. He or she would also have assisted in many surgeries, and have experience in determining which injuries need the care of an orthopedic surgeon. 

If you go to the ER, chances are you will get an X-ray and splint with instructions to make an appointment with an orthopedic specialist as soon as possible. If you go to an orthopedic urgent care, in addition to getting to see an orthopedic PA, you can be seen by a surgeon much faster most of the time. Some facilities are able to schedule surgery right away at their affiliated outpatient center.

Here are some of the injuries that can be treated efficiently at an orthopedic urgent care:

  • Broken bones (fractures)
  • Sprains and strains
  • Torn ligaments
  • Sports injuries
  • Foot or ankle injuries
  • Shoulder injuries
  • Knee injuries
  • Hand or wrist injuries

If you live in the Colorado Springs area, arrange to see the orthopedic experts at Colorado Center of Orthopaedic Excellence. From professional sports medicine including the US Olympic team, to treatment of osteoarthritis, our board-certified orthopedic surgeons provide the best possible care. Call (719) 623-1050 for a priority appointment with a skilled and experienced orthopedic provider.

Why You Should Visit Your Sports Medicine Doctor Regularly?

If you are an athlete or just enjoy playing sports, you can’t afford to take time away from your game. So, when overuse damage, orthopedic trauma, or sports injuries occur, it can be devastating to your game, your workouts, your physical health, and even your mental health. That’s why sports medicine is an integral sub-specialty of orthopedic medicine.

Sports medicine is a medical specialty that helps people recover from their sports related injuries. However, you don’t have to be a professional athlete to be susceptible to sports injuries. Recreational athletes, weekend warriors, and physically active people can receive a host of orthopedic injuries, like fractures, and muscle sprains and strains. 

Our musculoskeletal system is made up of hundreds of moving parts, all working together to allow our body to move and function at its optimal level. Sometimes these structures become injured, and are in need of treatment. The tools and techniques used by an orthopedic specialist to diagnose and treat conditions are constantly evolving. It’s good to know that there are a variety of solutions available to help your sport medicine doctor accurately diagnose disorders and injuries affecting bones, muscles, ligaments, tendon, and cartilage.

People with active lifestyles are often at risk for sports-related injuries. Board certified and fellowship-trained sports medicine specialists can properly diagnose athletic injuries and provide treatments that restore your motion and will help get you back to your sport in even better shape than before. 

At Colorado Center of Orthopaedic Excellence, our sports medicine specialists work just as hard as you play your game, to ensure you receive an accurate diagnosis and world-class care. Some of the most frequent sports injuries we treat include:

  • Sprains and strains
  • Tendonitis and bursitis
  • Knee ligament tears and reconstruction (ACL, MCL, PCL, LCL)
  • Meniscal tears
  • Achilles tendonitis and tears
  • Shoulder instability and dislocation
  • Rotator cuff tear
  • Shoulder labrum tear
  • Shoulder impingement
  • Tennis elbow
  • Golfer’s elbow
  • Shin splints
  • Iliotibial band syndrome
  • Patellar tendonitis
  • Femoroacetabular impingement / hip labrum tear

Our sports medicine doctors use the least-invasive techniques whenever possible to treat sports injuries, but surgery may sometimes be necessary. Our fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeons operate with precision on injured joints, ligaments, and tendons to ensure that delicate nerves, tissues, and other surrounding anatomy is preserved.

Our main goal is to return you to play as quickly as possible while preventing re-injury and improving your body’s response to stress. We utilize cutting-edge diagnostic and treatment methods to eliminate pain and improve range of motion, hoping to have you feel just as good or better than you did before your injury occurred.

Caring for these problems quickly and effectively makes it possible for these athletes to return to their sports in good shape. Sports medicine focuses on helping both amateur and professional athletes improve their performance, recover from injury, and prevent future injuries. But it’s more than just that.  Sports medicine doctors are also good resources for those who need help with making better and healthy lifestyle decisions, and achieving their peak physical performancce.

At Colorado Center of Orthopaedic Excellence, we see sports medicine as a large part of orthopedic medicine. Whether you are an amateur or professional athlete, make an appointment with one of our sports medicine specialists today by calling (719) 623-1050, or you can request one online.

Sports Medicine: Keeping You in the Game

People with active lifestyles are often at increased risk for sports-related injuries. Our board-certified orthopedic surgeons and sports medicine specialists can properly diagnose all athletic injuries and provide treatments that restore a more pain-free condition. The Sports Medicine “team” is made up of individuals from a variety of fields such as orthopedic surgery, primary care medicine, athletic training, physical therapy, and nutrition.

Sports medicine doctors have special training to restore function to injured patients so they can get moving again as soon as possible. They are also knowledgeable about preventing illness and injury in active people. Although sports medicine doctors do work with professional athletes, they also treat children and teens involved in sports, and adults who exercise for personal fitness, as well as people who have physically demanding jobs.

Reasons to see a sports medicine specialist:

  • Ankle sprains
  • Fractures
  • Knee and shoulder injuries
  • Tendonitis
  • Exercise-induced asthma
  • Heat illness
  • Concussions
  • Eating disorders
  • Cartilage injuries
  • Proper injury recovery
In addition, sports medicine doctors can provide advice on nutrition, supplements, exercise and strength training, and injury prevention.

Our experts at the Colorado Center of Orthopaedic Excellence strive to prevent and treat injuries in physically active individuals. If your child sustains an injury during exercise, sports participation, or any type of physical activity, you may be advised to see a sports medicine doctor for treatment.

Our goal is to return you to play as quickly as possible while preventing re-injury and improving your body’s response to stress. We utilize cutting-edge diagnostic and treatment methods to eliminate pain and improve range of motion, so the next time you throw the ball, dunk a basket, or run toward the finish line, you will feel just as good or better than you did before your injury occurred.

Whether you are an amateur or professional athlete, our Colorado Springs orthopedic doctors give the best care possible. Request an appointment today with one of our specialists today by calling (719) 623-1050 or you can request one online.

Could Your Sports Career Lead to Knee Pain?

The knee is made up of bones, cartilage, muscles, ligaments, and tendons, all working as one. The knee sits in the middle of three bones: the tibia (your shinbone), the femur (your thighbone), and the patella (the kneecap). The patella is a flat, round bone that protects the knee joint. Your knees provide stability and allow your legs to bend, swivel, and straighten. Due to their intricacies, the hip and knee joints are the least stable in the body, susceptible to accelerated aging, deterioration, strain, and repetitive injuries. If the knee becomes injured, it can be due to many different things, but your sports career is a common one. Some sports may take more of a toll on the knees than others, such as distance running and basketball, while others tend to present more opportunities for impact, such as football or soccer.

If you are an athlete, and have ever sat on the sidelines with a knee injury, you probably appreciate more than ever, about how your knees have powered you through various sports and activities: kicking, jumping, running, and pivoting. Sport injuries can affect almost any part of the body, including the muscles, bones, joints and connective tissues (tendons and ligaments).

Although a knee problem is often caused by an injury to one or more of these structures, it may have another cause. Some people are more likely to develop knee problems than others. In other words, all those working parts mean there are bunches of ways to injure a knee. Many jobs, sports and recreation activities, getting older, or having a disease such as osteoporosis or arthritis increase your chances of having problems with your knees.  Common causes for injuries are overuse from repetitive motions, sudden stops or twists, or direct blows to the knee. To avoid knee injuries, it helps to understand how your knees work and what you can do to protect them.

Common knee injuries due to sports:

  • Sprains and Strains
  • Tendonitis
  • Meniscus Tears (ACL, MCL)
  • Fractures and Dislocations

When overuse damage, orthopedic trauma, or sports injuries occur, it can be devastating to your game, your workouts, your physical health, and your mental health. That is why the sports medicine specialists at Colorado Center of Orthopaedic Excellence work just as hard as you play your game to ensure you receive an accurate diagnosis and world-class care. Our goal is to return you to play as quickly as possible, while preventing re-injury and improving your body’s response to stress. 

Whether you are an amateur or professional athlete who is experiencing knee pain, our sports medicine specialists at Colorado Center of Orthopaedic Excellence can help. Call our office at (719) 623-1050 to request an appointment, or you can request one online.